“As I look back at the whole story, all glory goes to God.” “I wasn’t prepared to be homeless,” Ricky says. “You never think it will happen to you.” When Ricky started going to church again, the mother of his children didn’t want to. “Our spirits were pulling in different directions… and before you know it, there I was with the kids.” For the next ten years as a single father, Ricky devoted himself to caring for them. They got by on $500 a month… until one day, they were evicted. The children moved to their mother’s, but Ricky became homeless. “It didn’t really hit me until the first night I was outside,” he says. “I was on a bench, and everybody was in their houses, with their families.” For a little over a year, Ricky struggled on the streets. “It’s a whole different way of living when you’re homeless. You can’t cook. It’s difficult to stay clean… and there are really bad people out there at nighttime.” As temperatures dropped, he knew he needed to escape the dangerous cold. “I was asking God to lead me, and I ended up walking to the Mission.” As he arrived at our doors, Ricky says, “The staff saw I needed help immediately… and my nightmare was over.” The next day, he joined our Men’s Academy long-term program, and the loving community he found here provided the support he needed to move forward. “You meet a lot of guys that love God, just like you,” he says. “We encourage each other.” Today, Ricky has graduated our program and works as Community Care staff, supporting guests arriving at the Mission. “I’m in a position to open the door for anybody that wants to change.” He’s even reconnected with his children’s mother! “We’ve had conversations about redemption… It brought tears to my eyes.” You may never meet Ricky, but he’s eternally grateful to YOU for your support – today, his heart is filled with new hope for the future. “The Mission has really changed my life. It’s been a total blessing for me.” Ricky’s story appeared in the Easter 2020 edition of Lighthouse News.